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Today, Kansas Athletics and IMG College announced a new long-term television partnership with Time Warner Cable Sports. The deal will see over 300 hours of original programming air annually, including live games and “extensive non-game programming solely focused on the Jayhawks,” according to a press release.
In addition to live programming, non-game programming will be available via video on-demand to Time Warner Cable customers around the country. Regionally, Time Warner Cable Metro Sports, will carry live games, including football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, volleyball, baseball, softball, soccer and track and field events.
“When Time Warner Cable Sports approached us with this concept, we knew, if done right, it could greatly benefit Kansas Athletics and our fan base,” Kansas Director of Athletics Sheahon Zenger said. “With more Kansas Athletics programming available throughout the state and to Time Warner cable customers throughout the country than ever has been before, Jayhawk fans will have more opportunities to catch our sports in action. We are eager to work with Time Warner Cable Metro Sports to bring this exciting concept to life.”
Non-game programming will include, “pre- and post-game shows for Jayhawk football and men’s basketball games, a weekly “magazine-style” show, Hawk Talk Radio Show simulcasts, a social media-centered show driven by fans, live press conferences, a Jayhawk Rewind highlight show, a quarterly Jayhawk Legends series and quarterly University of Kansas academic specials,” according to the press release.
By: Hunter Mundy
The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) is in the process of determining whether or not to continue sponsoring teams in men’s indoor track, men’s cross country, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and softball. The Intercollegiate Athletics Review Committee made the recommendation to eliminate these teams on May 15, 2013 in an 18-page report. The committee was appointed in February by Chancellor Gary Miller to develop the future portfolio of UNCW Seahawk athletics. Chancellor Miller originally asked the committee to identify a portfolio “that would ensure all programs have the opportunities to achieve national prominence. “
UNCW Athletic Director Jimmy Bass projects that UNCW’s athletic budget would need to be approximately $16,000,000 to support the current portfolio of athletics (non-football) to be nationally competitive and prominent. Over the last four years, the Department of Athletics’ expenses have exceeded revenue. With a reserve fund that has decreased by 82% in order to balance expenses, there is no longer a viable funding source. In the current fiscal year, the university anticipates the need to cover a projected $600,000 shortfall. The committee’s recommendations would include re-investing $800,000 annually into the remaining programs and starting the entire process immediately in the 2013-14 academic year.
As a part of its research, the committee met with a number of groups. This included the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, made of two individuals from each of the 19 athletic teams currently on campus. The women’s basketball team was unable to participate because the meeting took place during the conference tournament. The men’s basketball team was also absent. At a non-football playing institution where athletic department revenue is drastically dependent on the revenue of basketball, particularly men’s basketball, these scheduling issues and omissions are alarming to say the least.
As the report states, the student athletes in attendance did provide a number of consistent and cohesive themes. These included issues with athletic facilities that are outdated, lack appeal in presentation and are often poorly maintained. Some were described as unacceptable, and athletes’ complained they impacted performance and preparation. The state of UNCW’s current facilities were also cited as a reason that quality teams from other schools will not accept an offer to compete at UNCW. Other issues included the insufficiency of the current weight room and its staff and the lack of adequate athletic training staff, which limits the ability to get timely and immediate attention. The level of travel accommodations compared to other schools in the conference was also was described as an impediment to performance and competiveness.
UNCW is a member of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), which was founded in 1979 as the ECAC South basketball league and renamed in 1985. It is important to look at the changing make-up of the CAA over the past 20 years and how this plays an important role in the Seahawks’ current financial situation. In 1993, the entire conference was located within a six-hour drive of Wilmington, NC, and included in-state rival East Carolina University. In 2013, with the exit of Old Dominion and Georgia State and the addition of the College of Charleston, only three of the CAA’s nine other teams will be within this distance. This includes trips for the Seahawk teams of over 13 hours to Northeastern (Massachusetts) and 10 hours to Hofstra (New York).
For UNCW’s softball program, the closest drive current CAA trip is to 6 hours to James Madison University. There are other conference opportunities available that would potentially negate the travel impacts of the current CAA situation. Conferences such as the Big South and the Southern Conference are much more local. The Big South has four schools from the state of North Carolina, and the entire 12-member conference is located within a four-hour drive of Wilmington, NC. Changing conferences could help change the face of UNCW, cut down on travel costs and provide the university with local competition.
The softball program at UNCW consists of athletes mainly from North Carolina. While the popularity of the sport has skyrocketed in recent years in the Tarheel State, any future program must have the ability to recruit at least on the regional, if not national, level. In this year’s NCAA National Championship Softball Tournament, approximately 17% of the players hail from the footprint of the CAA while 13% call the footprint of the Big South home. Additionally as evidence of the increase in popularity of the sport, last year was the first year a school in the South won the national title (Alabama). UNCW softball’s program needs additional resources, such as fully-funded scholarships, to be successful so it can recruit regionally and nationally. The committee’s report stated that UNCW currently funds just over six scholarships for softball split among 20 athletes. The NCAA allows a school to provide 12 athletic scholarships for its Division I softball programs.
Regional competitors such as James Madison, Elon, Coastal Carolina and UNC-Greensboro are in the process or have just completed substantial multi-million dollar softball facility upgrades that have substantially boosted the sport on their campuses. These schools also have fully funded coaching staffs for softball that allow increased recruiting, instruction/coaching and program oversight. As previously mentioned, the programs at UNCW have suffered for a long period of time with sub-par facilities and support.
After reviewing the UNCW situation and all of its components one cannot help but be reminded of a similar situation from 2001 at the University of Virginia. Facing a projected $47 million dollar athletic department deficit by 2010, UVA created a task force to study the future of Virginia athletics. The study’s task force recommended creating formal tiers for the 24 varsity sports to “bolster the strongest programs” and reduce support or eliminate some lower-profile sports. This included the de-emphasis of programs that traditionally struggled including baseball, wrestling, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s track and field, cross country and men’s and women’s tennis.
Upon its presentation to the Virginia Board of Visitors and President, the document was met with immediate criticism and anger. The study’s recommendations were immediately voted down and instead a highly motivated and intense fundraising campaign began. Fast-forward 12 years and the UVA baseball team is now one of the premier teams in the ACC, and in the country, having attended two College World Series in the period. The men’s and women’s golf teams have won numerous events and placed several alumni onto the professional tours. The men’s tennis team has been the NCAA runner-up for the last two seasons while winning an indoor tennis national championship.
Here’s hoping the situation at UNCW turns out to be nothing more than a “call to arms” like Virginia from a few years back. With UNCW’s reputation as a stellar academic institution and a campus located just a few minutes from the Atlantic Ocean’s beautiful beaches, the sky is the limit for Seahawk athletics. Given all of the support to compete on a level playing field, Seahawk athletics can and will win all of the championships they can while answering the fiscal questions of the administration.
My book, Saturday Millionaires: How Winning Football Builds Winning Colleges is now available for pre-order! You can find out all about the book and pre-order on the Saturday Millionaires website.
Since this book was essentially born from this website, I wanted to share with you the original Preface I wrote, which has since been cut from the book. It explains how this book came to be…
Proposals for improving college football are like assholes: everyone has one. That’s how we describe an excess of anything in the South. That’s not what this book is about.
This is the untold story of college football.
Once upon a time I was just a simple college football fan sporting my orange and blue in The Swamp every Saturday, trying to look cute while glistening (Southern women do not sweat) in the Central Florida heat. When the Gators only road to the National Championship in 2006 rested upon what I considered an improbable loss by USC to UCLA in the final week, I agreed with my friends that college football needed a playoff.
Back then, the only aspects about college football that made sense to me were why Ben Hill Griffin Stadium was called The Swamp (the air is thick and full of Gators!) and that something special would happen every time Tim Tebow stepped on the field.
As I reflect upon how I transitioned from there to playing devil’s advocate on topics including pay-for-play and whether the BCS could have survived an antitrust suit, I realize it’s the access I’ve had to athletic departments via my former positions with SportsMoney on Forbes.com, Comcast Sports Southeast, my founding of BusinessofCollegeSports.com and my current position as a sports business reporter at ESPN that have made all the difference.
I remember naively wondering why no AQ conference (that’s Automatic Qualifying, as in the big 6 conferences: SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, ACC and Big East) had snapped up Boise State after it began posting winning season after winning season. By the time the Pac-12 and Big East announced adding Utah and TCU, respectively, in the fall of 2010, I knew why they had ascended to the highest tier of college football: they brought top television markets. Winning teams come and go, but a top market you can count on long-term.
There was the time I thought athletic departments, particularly those in AQ conferences, were printing money. I’ll never forget the dose of reality I was served along with each school’s line item budget I received. If we’re talking about only football, yes, dozens of schools show net revenue, and some are healthier than others.
That football profit doesn’t simply sit in a vault marked “Property of State University Football”. It typically supports most of the other sports in the athletic department, nearly all of whom operate at a loss. At University of Florida, one of the healthiest athletic departments in the country, the average sport outside football and men’s basketball loses $1.4 million per season. Fortunately for the Gators, the profit from football covers all that and then some.
At schools where it doesn’t? That’s when you see those student fee and direct institutional support line items soar. Which brings me to another lesson learned: not all direct institutional support or government support reported on a school’s NCAA disclosure is what it seems. It could be state lottery funds designated for Title IX usage or waivers for out-of-state student-athletes so the athletic department only has to be in-state tuition for those students.
We’ll also take a look at how television changed the course of college football in a 1984 Supreme Court decision and the periods of conference realignment that followed. Lest you think television runs college football, we’ll also delve into conference television networks and the latest long-term television deals. You’ll see it’s the conferences who are the real power brokers in college football today.
Saturday Millionaires will take you inside the athletic departments at a variety of schools from one of the top departments in the country at Ohio State University to smaller departments like Western Kentucky University. I’ll show you their line item budgets, highlight where they excel and explain their struggles. You’ll see how an Athletic Director can change the course of an entire department, like Tom Jurich has at Louisville.
I will also show you how NCAA regulations and federal laws impact decisions made in and around college football. You’ll begin to understand why Title IX complicates pay-for-play plans whether the money comes in the form of an increased scholarship to cover cost-of-attendance or from the pocket of a donor. I’ll show you what would happen if athletic departments lost their tax-exempt status. I’ll even explain why the threat of an antitrust suit has perhaps done more for college football than an actual suit would have accomplished.
Lastly, we’ll talk about the intersection of athletics and academics. There are those who say athletics has destroyed academics at universities. What about the 200 percent increase TCU saw in applications from high school students in Oregon following its BCS bowl appearances? Or how TCU now receives more applications from California than nearby Houston?
Studies have shown athletics impact everything from application rates, to selectivity, academic ranking, donations, state appropriations, licensing and branding. In recent years, those correlations have only grown. The potential influence dwarfs the cost. For example, at University of Florida athletics accounts for just 2.7 percent of total university operating expenses. Meanwhile, Shands Hospital accounts for 33 percent.
The point being that universities are more than single-product academic institutions today. They’re mutli-product entities offering a wide range of products from traditional classroom education to study abroad to world-class medical centers and big-time collegiate athletics. It’s the job of each individual university to choose the right products to make up the entity to form a cohesive unit. Some schools are better at this than others, but that’s a free market economy for you.
The most-used words in discussions on college football are “fair” and its antithesis, “unfair”. It’s unfair players aren’t paid when athletic departments are making millions off them. It’s not fair that schools in AQ conferences make more than schools in non-AQ conferences.
I hate the word “fair” and it’s ugly cousin “unfair”. I may begin a campaign to ban them from the English language. Who’s with me?
Maybe you will be after you read Saturday Millionaires.
I won’t tell you that college football, and college athletics in general, is without fault. Like any industry, there are business units and management within those units who bend the rules, sometimes until they break. This book isn’t about defending rule-breakers, it’s about giving you the information necessary to form your own opinions about the business of college football the next time you see a flashy headline.
I’ll give you all of the information I’ve had privy to as a journalist covering college athletics. Maybe by the end you’ll leave the young girl in orange and blue behind like I did and begin to look at college football in a new light. Of course, if you’re a man reading this, feel free to instead leave behind the over-enthusiastic fan with the “O” painted on his chest.
Read more about Saturday Millionaires and pre-order here.
It appears that DePaul men’s basketball team will have a new arena to play in. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel is set to announce a $300 million dollar arena at McCormick Place. The arena is expected to seat 10,000-12,000 and will part of an entertainment district supported by the mayor. DePaul turned down an offer to play rent free in the United Center for ten years.
The school’s contract with Allstate Arena is set to expire in 2015. Due to dwindling attendance, the university is committed to moving Blue Demon back into the city, even including it in its five-year plan. Allstate Arena, located in Rosemont, is around 16 miles from DePaul’s campus in Chicago. The team moved there from the on-campus Alumni Hall in 1980. In 2000, Alumni Hall was replaced by the Sullivan Athletic Center which includes the 3,000 seat McGrath-Phillips Arena, the current home to DePaul’s women’s basketball and volleyball teams.
With the official announcement still pending, details about the new arena vary by source. The local CBS station is reporting that the City of Chicago and the Metropolitan Pier and Expansion Authority would put up $100 million dollars each while DePaul would contribute $75 million. Crain’s Chicago Business is reporting that its sources claim reports of the $100 million dollars contribution from the city as “inaccurate.”
There are numerous story lines with this story. First, there is DePaul’s desire to move the team back into the city, but also some reluctance to build an on-campus arena. The university has not made any indication, such as contacting a design firm or surveying sites, that it has considered building an arena suitable for men’s basketball. It is perfectly understandable that the university would consider other options instead of choosing to build a costly arena.
The controversial part of this announcement comes when the school’s rejection of the United Center’s offer is considered. As a private school, DePaul certainly has the right to say no the offer of free rent and instead opt to pay its $75 million share for the new arena. But judging from the comments on the previously linked articles, the taxpayers of Chicago will be opposed to this deal. Their objections are easily understood. If the city was attempting to lure the Blue Demons back into Chicago this may be a different situation. But the university already had an offer to play in an arena with NBA quality amenities located in the city. Chicago’s debt has been well documented, with the city’s bond rating being significantly downgraded earlier this year. City officials will have to explain to taxpayers why spending $100 million dollars of its money on a new arena.
If the details being reported about the deal are correct, DePaul is getting a dream deal. Any major university in the country would be willing to pay $75 million dollars for rent and the first right of scheduling in an arena worth nearly triple that sum in value. With the potential backlash from citizens, DePaul may never get that chance. Businessofcollegesports.com will keep you updated as this story progresses.
The Athletics Construction Roundup is a monthly series on construction of athletics facilities. Each month I’ll provide you with a list of athletic construction projects in progress (and recently completed) across the country, including details on budget and scope of the project.
University of Houston:
Work continues on Houston’s new stadium which will open in 2014. The official site of the project includes two live webcams of the construction.
Ground was broken late last month on new softball facilities, including offices and a hitting facility. It will be the first athletics project that is a part of the university’s $85 million ASPIRE campaign.
Oakland has announced a $65 million campus construction plan that includes $7.8 million for athletics projects. Plans include a tennis complex, a track and field complex, and recreational space.
University of Tampa:
Division II Tampa dedicated a lacrosse stadium with room for 2,000 spectators.
University of Texas-Arlington:
UTA has announced additional softball construction projects. In February the Mavs opened an indoor hitting facility.
University of Southern Mississippi:
Southern Miss is replacing the turf at its football stadium a year earlier than expected due to debris from a tornado earlier this year.
University of Maine:
$15 million renovations have begun on Maine’s Field House. Following a $2 million gift, the facility will be renamed The New Balance Field House.
University of Arkansas:
The Razorbacks’ 80,000 square foot football facility will be named for donor Fred W. Smith.
Purdue will construct a $13 million softball stadium, set to open in 2015. It is the final piece of the Mackey Complex master plan.
University of California:
Cal has announced a $15 million aquatic center. Unlike the current pool, the new facility will be exclusively for athletics.
Florida International University:
As mentioned in last month’s roundup, FIU has gone through with its unique basketball court design.
Eastern has unveiled its indoor golf facility. The space includes lockers and digital simulators.
University of Tennessee- Martin:
UT Martin has announced a football stadium plan that includes rebuilding the west grandstand. The changes, which must be approved by the Board of Trustees, should allow UTM to host football playoff games.
University of Richmond:
Work has started on the $17 million first phase of renovations for the Richards Center.
DIII Lawrence has announced a five million dollar renovation of the Banta Bowl, a multi-use outdoor facility.
University of Oklahoma:
OU has broken ground on a six and half million dollar training facility for rowing.
DIII Amherst will spend $12.5 million to renovate Pratt Field, considered the oldest college athletic field in the country.
University of Arizona:
Athletic Director Greg Byrne took media members of a tour of the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility. The soon to be completed facility and stadium expansion comes at a cost of $72 million.
University of Hawaii:
Athletic Director Ben Jay is taking facility repairs upon himself. He is tweeting out his actions in an attempt to catch the attention of university leadership.
After playing many games on the road and practicing at high schools, Samford has opened its new softball stadium.
Texas Christian University:
Following a $10 million donation, plans were approved for a $45 million renovation of Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. The project will not begin until all funds are raised.
University of Kansas:
Ground has been broken on Rock Chalk Park. The multi-use sports park will include stadiums for track, softball, and soccer. The project comes with a $39 million price tag.
Louisiana State University:
LSU will name the field at Alex Box Stadium after former coach and athletic director Skip Bertman. Only the field will be renamed, the baseball facility’s name will remain Alex Box Stadium.
LSU is also completing its Sport Event Security Aware certification through the University of Southern Mississippi. It will be the 10th school and fourth in the SEC to do so.
Ball State University:
Ball State has unveiled a $20 million fundraising campaign which will result in numerous athletic construction projects. Over $12 million has been raised to date.
The historic oaks at Toomer’s Corner have been removed. The symbolic final roll after the spring game resulted in this incredible scene.
Troy has released artist renderings for a $25 million north end zone expansion of Veterans Memorial Stadium. The project will include several suites and team areas.
University of Iowa:
The Board of Regents has approved a nine million dollar plan that includes a new scoreboard and sound system at Kinnick Stadium.
In case you missed it- Construction projects previously mentioned on this site:
University of Connecticut:
UConn is adding 2,000 seats for its home football against Michigan.
University of Kentucky:
Kentucky has announced a renovation of Commonwealth Stadium. The $110 million project includes several suites.
University of California:
Cal hosted its first night baseball game.
University of Indiana:
Indiana unveiled its new baseball stadium which features a field without dirt.
Florida Atlantic University:
The naming right gift for FAU’s football stadium was withdrawn.
Here at BusinessofCollegeSports.com we keep enormous databases of information to assist in our reporting and analysis. We try to share as much with you as possible, but our web capabilities aren’t always what we wish they were. That being said, we recently came across a great WordPress plugin called TablePress that will allow us to post more of our databases. So, today we give you our 2010-2011 databases on football revenue and expenses (broken down by category) for public FBS schools subject to public disclosure laws.
You can find all of our databases under the Data tab above.
By: Alexandria Jenkins
An entire nation was left shocked and speechless when news of the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse scandal surfaced in November 2011. The Penn State community fell victim to the horrifying betrayal of its former defensive coordinator and was forced to sit by idly as the effects of the crime rippled through “Happy Valley.” For university officials, students, fans and alumni alike, nothing could have proven more sickening than the life-long damage inflicted on Sandusky’s victims.
Then, as if to rub salt in the wound, the NCAA imposed an unprecedented $60 million, five-year fine and four-year postseason ban on the Nittany Lions. Additionally, numerous sponsors cut ties with the university, with along with other costs associated with the scandal brought the school’s total estimated losses attributed to the scandal to $46 million and counting over the past 17 months, according to an article posted by Advertising Age.
Since Dec. 31, 2012, Penn State says it has spent more than $41 million on NCAA fines, legal and consulting fees. Advertising Age added that the university has lost more than $1 million in sponsorship/advertising after companies like General Motors, Cars.com and Sherwin Williams pulled their support for the football team, while forfeiting another $700,000 in licensing royalties from merchandise sales. Furthermore, This month, Penn State will shell out $3.25 million to the Big Ten Conference to be donated to children’s charities as part of the first installment of a four-year, $13 million penalty, according to Scott Chipman, the Conference’s Assistant Commissioner.
Now, six months removed from Sandusky’s trial, Penn State is finally starting its uphill battle towards financial recovery. After pulling its ads in late 2011 “out of respect for those involved,” Cars.com returned to football telecasts last season and has announced plans of staying on for 2013-2014. There is also hope of potential sponsorships with Chevy and State Farm, although no deals have been finalized.
The shamed Penn State brand is also showing signs of recovery. According to Marketing Arm, Penn State ranked in the top five most-trusted NCAA properties in June 2011. By January 2012, the university had fallen to last place among 104 nationally measured schools. It bounced back to the mid-60s in 2012, now ranking among well-respected schools like Stanford, Michigan and Harvard.
Despite all of this, Cynthia Hall, Penn State’s acting Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, said that the university did not increase its overall marketing budget since the scandal occurred.
If you’re an educator who teaches a course that could benefit from BusinessofCollegeSports.com founder Kristi Dosh’s upcoming book on the business of college football, SATURDAY MILLIONAIRES, please visit this page and register for more information.
After a series of protests, many of which notably included students, FAU and the GEO Group have parted ways. According to this university press release, GEO Group, a company that runs prisons, withdrew its naming rights gift of $6 million dollars over 12 years. While no official reason was given in the release, the decision to withdraw the gift was obviously the result of the protests.
When first announced in February the deal was called “unconventional” by many. Vocal observers, include some i members and the aforementioned students, were appalled by the thought of a for-profit prison group’s name being on a stadium. Many of the concerns were based on claims of human rights violations in GEO Group run prisons. As a result, the admittedly witty nickname of “Owlkatraz” surfaced. Some objectors raised concerns about sports marketing in America. This New York Times article seems to imply that those who own stadiums will slap any name on them for the right amount of money.
There was always a deeper sports marketing issue with this partnership. Naming rights deals are similar in purpose to most other types of advertising: create increased exposure and keep the company’s name in front of consumers. But the GEO group does not have traditional consumers. Its revenue comes from public municipalities that own prisons. While the company more than likely could actually benefit from the increase in exposure, it is unlikely that it would have received widespread, national exposure from a 30,000 seat stadium that is home to a Sun Belt football program. (To be fair, FAU is moving to Conference-USA next year.)
It seems that this naming rights deal truly was a gift. The CEO of GEO Group, George Zoley, received two degrees from the university. It appears that this was an ill-conceived gift that started with good intentions. Unfortunately for both the company and university, what started out as an alumnus attempting to help out his alma mater’s athletic department spiraled into a national news story.
Stewart Mandel has a piece out today on SI.com describing the range of urgency athletics administrators are feeling regarding the O’Bannon v. NCAA case currently making its way through the courts. For those of you who haven’t kept up with the case, I wrote about it in more detail here. Essentially, former UCLA men’s basketball star Ed O’Bannon and his co-plaintiffs are suing the NCAA, and other defendants, for not sharing the revenue generated in part by student-athletes both while they are in school (e.g. TV) and afterwards (e.g. video games, archive footage). If the O’Bannon plaintiffs were to win, or even settle the case in their favor, the current structure of college athletics will be forever altered.
Mr. Mandel profiled University of Southern California athletic director Pat Haden’s concern that the case is by no means a slam dunk for the NCAA, and how he and his colleagues should be preparing for the aftermath if it were to lose the case. I appreciated Mr. Haden’s comments. Up until now the little we’ve heard from administrators are the doomsday scenarios spouted off by the likes of Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delaney, who claimed his schools would rather de-emphasize sports and join Division III than go along with any type of pay for play scenario.
Mr. Haden is a lawyer. He’s been reading the articles from legal analysts and scholars. He knows the NCAA is vulnerable and the case is soft. More importantly, he knows the stakes have never been higher. It reminds me of this Family Guy/Star Wars clip, with Mr. Haden as Darth Vader and NCAA president Mark Emmert as the Empire’s henchman talking about the “invulnerable” Death Star (current NCAA structure). Mr. Haden is right to be concerned. He is right to be asking questions. He is also right to be taking proactive steps to address the possible outcomes, or perhaps look at acceptable settlement options.
The contrast to Mr. Haden is University of Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds. He was also quoted in Mr. Mandel’s piece, but with much less concern or urgency than Mr. Haden. Mr. Dodds seemed to think he and other athletics administrators have “more immediate things to worry about,” and “have no control over (the case).” In my view, nothing could be further from the truth. The case exists only because of how the NCAA and its members (of which the University of Texas and Mr. Dodds is one) have constructed the current college athletics model. If those in power change the model, the case goes away. And while Mr. Dodds might simply be one person in a massive bureaucracy, he leads arguably the most powerful athletic department in the country, and SI.com recently named him the 8th most powerful person in college athletics (notice Ed O’Bannon ranks #4). My guess is others will listen when he speaks.
Last week much of the country’s attention was fixed on the Supreme Court’s hearing of two significant same-sex marriage cases. Reading through much of the post-argument commentary from both sides, it seemed apparent that at some point in the future, though perhaps not as a direct result of these two cases, same-sex marriage will be legal across the country. I get that same feel about the O’Bannon case and paying student-athletes. It may not be this case or right now, but at some point in the future college athletes will be paid. The only question is when the new era is ushered in, and how. Pat Haden recognizes this and wants to take action; good for him.
Follow Daniel on Twitter at @DanielHare.